Kaikōura is a place like nowhere else in the world - where mountains spectacularly meet the sea, magnificent marine and wildlife abounds, and exciting ocean and land-based adventures and the town’s history and culture come together. 

Kaikōura continues to be New Zealand’s Marine Wildlife Destination and provides many options to meet the local Sperm Whales, the playful Dusky Dolphins, the Albatross and the NZ Fur Seals. You can experience this marine life from a boat, plane, and helicopter or by sea kayak.

If you prefer to stay on land, there is quad biking on a working farm with some exhilarating views, llama trekking, the lavender farm or explore Kaikōura's history at Fyffe House and the museum. Besides, Kaikōura has plenty of walking tracks to explore that take you to the town’s most beautiful spots and lookouts.

Spring in Kaikōura Walking Adventures

Spring season is the perfect time a year to explore Kaikōura along the many beautiful walking tracks. Since the days are getting longer the more time there is to add a nice walking adventure to your days or weekends. Spring usually brings plenty of sunny days with often still some snow on the mountain tops. What’s better than enjoying a good walk while taking in the town’s beautiful scenery? Here are a few popular walks in the Kaikōura region. 

The Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway 3-hour loop

The District’s signature walk, the Kaikōura Peninsula Walk is a 3-hour loop walk around the Kaikōura Peninsula. Start your walk from the Kaikōura i-SITE or from the carparks on either side of the peninsula. Starting the walk from the Point Kean seal colony you follow the track across the Peninsula to South Bay, passing the South Bay Marina to take the Forest Track and Tom’s track back to town. It’s a relatively easy walk with a short five-minute huff and puff to get to the top of the Peninsula.

You’ll see wonderful vistas out along the coastline and great examples of the uplifted seabed post-quake. At low tide you can now walk out 1km on the seabed and visit the new ‘teenage seal hangout’ on the right-hand side of the Point Kean seabed with the traditional ‘retirement village’ of seals by the left side of the carpark.

It’s a two-hour walk across the peninsula to the other side to return back the same way. We recommend adding extra time to walk out on the seabed at Point Kean and to spend some time with the seals.

Mt Fyffe and Seaward Kaikōura Range

The 8-hour return Mt Fyffe and Seaward Kaikōura range (1602m) track up to Mt Fyffe Hut and on to the summit of Mt Fyffe, and Mt Fyffe Hut.

Superb views over the Kaikōura plains and peninsula reward those who climb on Mt Fyffe. On a clear day the view at higher levels includes Banks Peninsula and the North Island. From Mt Fyffe carpark follow the 4WD road up the mountain's long south-west ridge. The road goes right to the summit. Those wanting a shorter journey could go as far as Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours return) or the lookout point near a fire-pond, which is just an hour above the carpark.

  • Fyffe-Palmer Track a 75-minute loop track starting at the end of Mt Fyffe road, a 10-minute drive from the Kaikōura Township to carpark. The start of the walk is steep through farmland. The track takes you through the regenerating forest of Fyffe-Palmer Scenic Reserve. Excellent views looking back over Kaikoura before you enter the forest.
  • Hinau Walk – a short 45-minute loop track highlighting different tree species of Hinau, Mahoe, Putaputaweta, Broadleaf, Tree Fuschia, Pigeonwood and a stand of Kanuka. Start of track at Mt Fyffe carpark.
  • Puhi Puhi Reserve – a flat 10-minute loop track a scenic reserve and lowland Podocarp forest. Drive 12kms north of Kaikōura, turn left up Puhi Puhi valley. A winding gravel road so please take care driving.

The Kaikoura Coast Track

The Kaikōura Coast Track, a unique two-day walking adventure along the pristine Kaikōura coast. The track is privately owned and gives you access to 26 km of unspoiled coastline that is otherwise inaccessible to the public. 

The Kaikōura Coast Track on the other hand is a two-day walking adventure that starts at the Conway Flat, just 40 kms south of Kaikōura. The walk is a perfect weekend getaway from the city or a change from the more well-known tracks in the area.  

Along the track you will discover the land’s pristine coastline with an abundance of marine life, farmland and native bush. You will spend around 6 hours of walking per day which gives you plenty of time to soak in the magnificent views.

Having only a maximum of 10 trampers per day makes this a truly unique trail to enjoy the ultimate wilderness along Kaikōura’s hidden coastline. 

For more information on Kaikōura and walks visit online, Facebook & Instagram: www.kaikoura.co.nz @KaikouraNZ #KaikouraNZ

Mt Fyffe walk Photo Andrew Spencer Photography

1 Kaikoura Penisula EC120 StapleImage

Kaikoura Peninsula

Peninsula walk lower track photo Paul Boocock